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Press Releases

Paddler magazine Pro Invitational Awards $4,000

Jay Kincaid takes top overall honors for Men, narrowly besting Brad Ludden. Tanya Faux takes top prize for women.

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For Immediate Release

Paddlers take home $4,000 in prize money at Paddler Pro Invitational

May 30, 2006
Contact: Eugene Buchanan
(970) 879-1450

(Steamboat Springs, Colo.): Nearly 40 of the world’s best kayakers descended upon Paddler magazine’s hometown of Steamboat Springs, Colo., on Memorial Day to compete in the Paddler magazine Pro Invitational. Presented by Dagger kayaks, the event pitted kayaking all-stars against one another in two events: a Class IV-V race down Upper Fish Creek and a freestyle competition at Charlie’s Hole downtown.
Created to reward the competitor with the best all-around whitewater kayaking skills, the Invitational—part of Paddler’s 15th anniversary celebration—offered $4,000 in prize money as bounty, with points awarded for placings in the individual events going towards the overall title. High water levels early in the week made competitors nervous as three boaters took swims during practice. But on race day, Fish Creek was the ideal level for racing and setting safety. Vail, Colo.’s Brad Ludden won the Fish Creek Race at 4:18, earning 20 points toward the overall title, with Tao Berman taking second two seconds back followed by Jay Kincaid in third. True to form, Kincaid looked brilliant in the freestyle, winning every round but one to win the overall title and take home $1,650 in winnings. Ludden pocketed $650 for taking second overall after finishing fourth in freestyle.
On the women’s side, Australian Tanya Faux dominated both the creek and freestyle disciplines, winning $1,000 for the overall title. New Zealand’s Nikki Kelly placed second overall, followed by Canada’s Ruth Gordon. “This is the kind of event that paddling needs to focus on more,” says Faux. “Combined competitions really showcase the athleticism of whitewater paddlers.”
The Pro Invitational was capped off by an anniversary party at Sun Pie’s Bistro Monday night. “It was such a good event that people are already asking us if we’ll host another one next year,” says Paddler Publisher Eugene Buchanan.

Paddler would like to thank sponsors Dagger, the City of Steamboat Springs, Kokatat, Fortress, Dermatone, Adventure Technology, Smith and the American Canoe Association.


Men’s Rodeo

1. Jay Kincaid
2.Todd Baker
3.Stephen Wright

Women’s Rodeo

1.Tanya Faux
2.Tanya Shuman
3.Devon Barker

Men’s Creek Race

1.Brad Ludden
2.Tao Berman
3.Jay Kincaid

Women’s Creek Race

1.Tanya Faux
2.Nikki Kelly
3.Eleanor Perry

Men’s Overall

1.Jay Kincaid
2.Brad Ludden
3.Stephen Wright

Women’s Overall

1.Tanya Faux
2.Nikki Kelly
3.Ruth Gordon